English Premiership

Chelsea's Conte takes aim at fixture organisers

2017-11-19 12:47
Antonio Conte (AP)

West Bromwich - Antonio Conte criticised football's fixture planners as he prepares his side for a manic month in the wake of their 4-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Conte's side eased to victory at The Hawthorns but Conte is already warning his players they face their biggest game of the season at Azerbaijan side FK Qarabag in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The win against West Brom, which included two goals from Eden Hazard, was the first of nine games in a month in all competitions for the Blues.

Conte is worried about a repeat of the defeat to Manchester City in September, three days after a Champions League game in Spain.

"It was a pity to play against Manchester City only two days after we played Atletico Madrid away," he said.

"We came back at 5:00 am on Thursday and played on Saturday against Manchester City.

"Sometimes, the people who prepare these type of fixtures must pay more attention to give every team the same possibility.

"I think against Manchester City they were favourites and we stayed very close but if we won against Manchester City the distance is not nine points.

"Now we have another problem. We play Qarabag on Wednesday, we get back to London at 5:00 am then we have another big game against Liverpool on Saturday.

"Is this normal? I don't think so. If someone wants more balance in this league they must pay greater attention to preparing the fixtures."

Chelsea head for Qarabag knowing victory will take them into the knockout phase despite back-to-back slip-ups against Roma.

"It was very important for us to start this very busy period with a good win, especially against West Brom because last season we struggled a lot in both games," said Conte.

"Today the game became easy because we started very well with great concentration and focus.

"This (Qarabag) will be the most important game of the season because we have a possibility with a win to go through to the next round of the Champions League, so to start our path in this way was very positive."

Defeat for West Brom left Tony Pulis fighting to save his job after just two wins in his last 21 Premier League games dating back to last season.

The Welshman did little to defend his position after the game.

"It's not my decision," said the 59-year-old.

"We'll have to see what happens.

"I've got different things in my mind. The football club is there, but I've got a family as well, and I do lots of work with certain charities, and I do other things.

"I've been in the game and in life long enough to understand that you can't affect what other people are going to do.

"They have to make a decision, I met with the Chinese owners last night.

"They are wonderful people but I know as much as anyone you have to get results.

"That's what it's about.

"The important thing is that the decision that's made is the right decision for the football club."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 17 March 2018
Burnley v Chelsea, Turf Moor 14:30
Stoke City v Everton, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Leicester City v Arsenal, King Power Stadium 17:00
Swansea City v Southampton, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Huddersfield Town v Crystal Palace, The John Smith's Stadium 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v West Bromwich Albion, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Liverpool v Watford, Anfield 19:30
Sunday, 18 March 2018
West Ham United v Manchester United, London Stadium 15:30
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, Etihad Stadium 18:00
Saturday, 31 March 2018
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 13:30
West Ham United v Southampton, London Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 16:00
Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town, St. James' Park 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Burnley, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v AFC Bournemouth, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
Everton v Manchester City, Goodison Park 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.